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The Seine at Charenton (formerly Daybreak), 1874

Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin

French, 1841-1927
Oil on canvas
21-1/4 x 25-3/8 in. (53.3 x 63.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Although he participated in six out of eight Impressionist exhibitions and was a lifelong friend to Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne, Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin remains one of the lesser-known Impressionist painters. Much of this is the result of the circumstances of his life. He was extremely poor
and was constantly working at grueling menial jobs in order to survive. Thus he painted very few pictures during the earlier, most celebrated part of his career. The present work is only number 33 in his catalogue raisonné, but it nevertheless places him squarely within the new tradition of painting. The middle-class inhabitants of an industrial suburb east of Paris stroll along the river as plumes of gray smoke emanate from smokestacks in the distance. Fashionable promeneurs are captured alongside modern factories, their imbrication a poignant reflection of life in the modern era.

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